When you’re an ambitious entrepreneur leading a skilled team of freelancers, you want to be able to trust them. They’re smart, they’re talented, and you hired them to take tasks off your own plate. Micromanaging them will make them (and you!) totally miserable, so you figure as long as they’re hitting deadlines and completing projects, they’re fine.
And they probably are. But here’s the kicker: they could be better than fine.
Especially if they’re in charge of work that repeats on a regular basis, establishing a set workflow might help them get more done and do higher quality work.
Plus when your contractors know exactly how and when to perform certain tasks, they can slide right into autopilot. Wins all around!
Still on the fence? Here are 5 key benefits to establishing a solid workflow with your team:
Established workflows are more efficient
When your assistant and contractors have systems in place that keep them on-task, they can accomplish more in less time.
It’s not that they waste endless hours without a workflow, but when they have a template to follow they’ll spend less time analyzing each step or task.
They can also move quickly between tasks instead of mulling over what to tackle next. And, of course, when the work gets done faster, you save money!
Established workflows create consistency
When your team members feel secure in the workflow systems they use, they’re less likely to panic and make mistakes.
When they have to improvise and need to make more decisions on the fly, they may choose different options each time.
Most of us want consistent performance from our contractors and consistent customer service for our clients, and a well thought-out workflow can enable both.
Established workflows are easier to manage
Does your team feel like they have to reinvent the wheel every time you want to shoot a video, launch a product, or build a funnel?
A workflow can help!
With defined sets of discrete tasks, contractors have a guide to ushering a project from start to finish.
Every project will have a life of its own, of course, and your freelancers will need to adjust accordingly. But creating workflows will mean they won’t have to start from zero every single time.
Established workflows make planning easier
Giving your contractors the freedom to make their own schedules and plan their own projects has its perks, but also its drawbacks.
You definitely want them to know you trust them, and giving them total flexibility does that…but it also means YOU may have a harder time planning your own schedule. You’ll only have a rough idea of when projects will need your attention, and may end up reshuffling priorities to keep things on schedule.
With a set workflow, planning becomes instantly easier. For example you’ll know that on the 10th of every month you need to set up the new member pages and by the 20th your newsletter will be ready for proofing and approvals. Your contractors will appreciate the structure, too, since it will allow them to schedule projects for you and other clients more effectively.
Established workflows help you scale
Improvisation is the enemy of growth!
When work responsibilities and timelines are unclear, it’s impossible to add projects without adding confusion. With a workflow in place, you can quickly slot in an additional team member and offload tasks to her without interrupting the larger system.
One last note: When you’re creating workflows for your assistant or team members, involve them in the creation process! Since they’re closer to the actual work, they may have information and tips about how to make everything run smoothly and without a hitch. Work together to design workflows that work for everyone.